Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Roots of Flavor - Ginger

Ginger's roots date back to ancient times, over 3,000 years ago. Related to tumeric and cardamom, ginger is native to Southern Asia, which is why it is considered a staple in Asian cuisine.

It isn't just the Asian culture who embrace the subtle spice of this knobby root, many Indian dishes are predicated on the use of ginger as well, such as Tikka Masala, Vindaloo, and hundreds more.

In addition to being a delicious flavoring agent in both sweet and savory recipes, ginger also has healing properties and nutritional value as well. Ginger is excellent for digestion, which is why, many times, people drink ginger ale or ginger beer to calm an upset stomach.

On a chilly and damp day like today, I like to prepare warm, simple to prepare dishes that have complex flavors. Tonight, I'm making all natural chicken, poached in coconut milk, studded with carrots and snap peas. With a side of basmati rice, it's the perfect meal for rainy Sunday afternoons.

Economical and nearly effortless,I hope you'll enjoy this dish as much as I do.

Chicken Poached in Coconut Milk with Fresh Vegetables
1 medium onion, chopped
1 - 2 jalepeno or serrano peppers, diced fine
3 Tb. ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tb. curry powder
2 c. carrots, "roll cut" (or medium dice)
2 c. snap peas, trimmed
2 (15 oz.) cans light coconut milk (*I use light, but you can use regular)
2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 3/4 lbs. chicken breasts, boneless skinless
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, cut on the bias

Heat a dutch oven over high heat. When the pot is hot, use some canola oil (enough to coat the bottom of a dutch oven) to saute the onions when the oil is hot, also.
Saute the onions until slightly caramelized. Add the chilies and ginger. Add the spices. Stir occasionally to keep the spices from burning.

Deglaze the pan with chicken broth and then add the coconut milk. Heat the liquid to 180 degrees, and add the carrots. In that same Dutch oven, poach the chicken breasts at 170 degrees and cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Add the snow peas and continue to cook. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and rest on a cutting board.

Season the poaching liquid to add more spice if you'd like a heavier curry flavor and reduce, allowing the peas to finish cooking through.

Slice the chicken on the bias, against the grain, and serve over a bed of basmati rice and thickened coconut milk broth. Garnish with Scallions and Cilantro.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home